Thursday, June 17, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 27.5 (Homer)

The Iliad
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
The Iliad
Tr. Robert Fitzgerald

I think this is yet another book that once belonged to my brother. On the blank page in front he has drawn a logo comprised of two connected letters, "W" & "F." Beneath that, in large, all caps, block print, he has written:


It's the copy of the Iliad I read before any other. The book is in terrible shape. I just broke the spine trying to open it up. Alas. It's the last of my copies of homer.

R.D. Pohl, poetry editor of the Buffalo News, and frequent commenter on the blog, asked if I could share a little about the storage of these books and if I could possibly post a few photos.


All of the books are at present contained in the built-in book cases that came with the house when we bought it in 2008. My office appears to have been a pantry or kitchen at some point. When we moved in it was all green, including the ceiling. It seemed to have been used as some kind of groovy sixties cocktail lounge. All of the shelves had doors on them.

We removed all of the doors, except the corner ones, whose interiors are now used for storage, and added a couple of shelves for more space. In the photo below are visible (top to bottom, left to right) Poetry Journals, Anthologies, Reference, A-Br, Br-Ed, Eg-Ja.

I am now surrounded by books when I write. In the following, you can see Yale Shakespeare set plus all of Lori's grandparents' older hardcovers on the shelf below the window, then below that Ja-Ko, then to the right K0-O'h, O'h-Sa, and Sa-St on the curved shelves at the end.

A second built-in, with an arched opening stands between two windows in the living room. On the top shelf are art books and other oversized books, followed by St-Z.

I am more or less out of shelf space at this point, so new books that come in get piled on top of the rows, and there are many such piles stacked on coffee, end, and bedside tables throughout the house.

from The Iliad

Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men–carrion
for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.
Begin it when the two men first contending
broke with one another–the lord Marshal
Agamemnon, Atreus' son, and Prince Akhilleus

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